In the digital age, the concept of choice has become paramount. With a wealth of content available at our fingertips, the idea that more options lead to greater satisfaction is a tempting one. However, the “Paradox of Choice,” as coined by psychologist Barry Schwartz, suggests that an overabundance of choices can actually lead to feelings of anxiety, indecision, and dissatisfaction. This paradox raises essential questions for learning professionals as we seek to empower learners with an array of educational content through Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs).
In this blog post, we will explore how the “Netflix effect” can inform the design of learning experiences and provide a strategic balance between choice and intent-driven learning.
The Netflix Effect:
We’ve all experienced the “Netflix effect.” It’s the feeling of scrolling endlessly through an overwhelming library of movies and TV shows, only to spend more time deciding what to watch than actually watching something. Schwartz’s Paradox of Choice tells us that this surplus of options doesn’t necessarily make us happier; it can leave us feeling overwhelmed and unsatisfied. This same paradox can be applied to learning, especially as LXPs aim to provide learners with an extensive range of content.
Learning in the Flow of Work:
Josh Bersin’s concept of “learning in the flow of work” highlights the importance of enabling access to diverse learning resources within the workplace. While having an open platform for accessing content is valuable, it might not necessarily align with organisational goals like safety, productivity, and sales. The “Netflix effect” can serve as a thought-provoking analogy for LXP developers and learning professionals.
Balancing Choice and Intent-Driven Learning:
The key question to address is how to build learning experiences that help individuals learn with intent, focusing on the right content to achieve performance results. Here are some strategies to strike the balance:
- Curation: Instead of overwhelming learners with endless choices, curate content to match specific learning objectives and goals.
- Personalisation: Use data-driven insights to provide learners with content recommendations tailored to their needs, roles, and performance goals. Personalisation reduces the burden of choice and increases the relevance of content.
- Feedback and Analytics: Incorporate feedback mechanisms and analytics to track learner progress and refine content recommendations over time. This iterative approach ensures that content remains aligned with organisational objectives.
- Goal-Oriented Learning: Encourage learners to set clear learning objectives. When they have a goal in mind, they are more likely to seek out relevant content, making their learning experience intentional and purpose driven.
- Supportive Resources: Offer supplementary resources, such as mentorship, peer support, and contextual help, to complement formal learning content. These resources can guide learners in their pursuit of knowledge.
In the era of abundant learning content through LXPs, it’s crucial to recognise the potential downsides of the “Netflix effect” – the overwhelming abundance of choices.
Learning professionals must design intentional learning experiences that strike a balance between choice and guided learning paths. By curating content, personalising recommendations, and aligning learning experiences with organisational goals, we can ensure that the “Netflix effect” contributes to enhanced learning outcomes, rather than overwhelming learners with an abundance of options.